Beware of scammers targeting taxpayers |

Beware of scammers targeting taxpayers

The California State Board of Equalization is warning Californians about tax-related phone scams.

The BOE has received multiple reports from taxpayers that received phone calls from someone impersonating a local police officer who demanded immediate payment for a tax liability and threatened arrest. The callers spoof police department or BOE telephone numbers on caller ID, creating the appearance that a legitimate party is calling.

This is not how the BOE operates, and taxpayers should never give any personal information or make a payment to anybody making such a call. You will receive a bill (a notice of determination or demand for immediate payment), which means you have a tax or fee amount due by the date indicated. If you cannot pay the full amount by the due date, contact the BOE to find out about payment plan options.

“Fortunately, those who attempt to deceive others will eventually be caught and prosecuted,” said Chairman Jerome E. Horton. “I am grateful that several of our permit holders alerted us to this terrible fraud.”

“We take any and all efforts to defraud California taxpayers seriously and have launched an investigation into the complaints we’ve received so far,” said Vice Chair George Runner. “If you’ve been contacted by someone who may be falsely claiming to represent a tax agency, please let us know immediately.”

“Tax season is complicated enough without scammers preying on Californians. State and federal tax agencies will send a notification in writing — not by phone — so don’t fall victim to these predators,” said board member Fiona Ma. “My office is here to help, and if you receive a suspicious phone call, contact us immediately so we can get to the bottom of this and help you avoid being scammed.”

If you believe you have received such a call, contact the BOE Customer Service Center at 800-400-7115, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday (except state holidays).

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